Category Archives: Sports

Women’s Lacrosse, the Top Ivy Seed, Falls to Penn State Despite High-Scoring Finish

Sarah Lloyd ’14 scored four of Princeton’s 12 goals in the loss to Penn State. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Sarah Lloyd ’14 scored four of Princeton’s 12 goals in the loss to Penn State. (Office of Athletic Communications)

The women’s lacrosse team lost by one to Penn State Saturday, scoring eight second-half goals that may prove more important in the long run than the out-of-conference loss.

The Tigers would no doubt have preferred to win their regular-season finale, but their record — 10-5 overall, 6-1 Ivy League — is probably a considerable comfort. And entering the postseason with the offense in sync is a good sign for Princeton, which guaranteed at least a share of the Ivy title with an April 16 defeat of Penn and locked up the regular-season crown with an April 19 win over Dartmouth.

Princeton has lost just one league game — in overtime to Brown in early March — and the top-seeded Tigers will host the Ivy tournament, which begins Friday, May 2.

After a 6-2 stretch over which their worst Ivy performance was a two-point victory, it may have done the Tigers some good to get a wake-up call in University Park. They came in ranked 19th in the country (the Nittany Lions were No. 8), and the first half unfolded as one might have expected given that differential. After trading goals with Penn State for the first fifteen minutes, the Tigers let up five goals while managing just one, midfielder Anya Gersoff’s 20th goal of the season. Continue reading

Women’s Tennis Sweeps the Ivies, Earns NCAA Bid

Lindsay Graff ’15 was the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett ’12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the Ivy League at the top singles spot. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Lindsay Graff ’15 was the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett ’12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the Ivy League at the top singles spot. (Office of Athletic Communications)

In March, the women’s tennis team was 8-5 and reeling after a pair of lopsided losses, just 10 days away from its Ivy League opener. Princeton was about to lose its national ranking with the toughest part of its schedule around the corner. With the Tigers dangerously slipping towards the .500 mark, head coach Laura Granville and her staff pulled the team in for a meeting.

“They said, ‘We all know we’re really talented, and we know we’re really good, but none of the other Ivies are worried about us,’” junior Katie Goepel said. “And that really lit a fire under us. We really wanted to prove that we are the team you see now.”

That Tiger team that you see now is the team that won the Ivy League Championship outright this weekend with a perfect 7-0 conference record. Since that fire was lit, Princeton has won 10 straight, including three matches against nationally ranked opponents.

Ranked No. 58 going into last weekend’s matches, Princeton beat Cornell 6-1 on the road on Friday to clinch at least a share of the Ivy title, before returning to home court to defeat No. 37 Columbia on Sunday. The Ancient Eight title also gives Princeton an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in May, the Tigers’ first trip since 2010.   Continue reading

Men’s Golf Falls Short in Bid to Win Home Tourney

Yale had taken home the title from the Princeton Invitational in four consecutive years, but this year, that streak came to an end as another Ivy rival, Harvard, finished three shots ahead of the Bulldogs to claim the top spot.  Meanwhile, the host Tigers ended the weekend ninth out of the 15 teams in the three-round event at Springdale Golf Club.

Greg Jarmas ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Greg Jarmas ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Led by senior Greg Jarmas, the Tigers completed round one on Saturday with Jarmas and senior Nick Ricci sitting among the top 15 in the standings.  Jarmas would cut four shots off of his first-round score to shoot a 66 in the second round on Saturday, tying for the lowest score of the day and placing him in a tie for second place and three shots back of the lead going into Sunday’s final round. He would ultimately finish 12th.

“The difference between who moves up and who moves back in a tight race almost always comes down to putting, especially at Springdale,” Jarmas said.  “The guys who make just a couple more makeable putts will come out on top.”

Jarmas was named All-Ivy League in 2013 after becoming Princeton’s first Ivy individual champion since 2005.  Jarmas also was the Tigers’ highest finisher at NCAA Regionals. The Princeton Invitational was the first — and only — home event of the spring for men’s golf. Continue reading

Pitchers Lead Princeton Baseball to Strong Ivy Start

The big question coming into this baseball season was, “What are they going to do without Zak Hermans ’13 and Mike Ford ’14?” The two pitchers combined for nine wins, 87 strikeouts, and only 22 earned runs over 120 1/3 innings last season with 11 complete games between them. Hitting .320 with 38 RBI, Ford made history by becoming the first player in league history to be named Ivy League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

Pitcher Michael Fagan ’14. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Pitcher Michael Fagan ’14. (Office of Athletic Communications)

When they left, both for professional teams, it looked like Princeton’s pitching was bound to struggle. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Thanks to an influx of young talent for which virtually no adjustment period was necessary, the Tigers have jumped out to a good start in Ivy League play (4-2 after a pair of close losses at Yale Sunday). While the offense has been surprisingly productive early on, the Tigers would not have a winning record in the league without pitching.

When the Tigers mustered just three runs against Brown Saturday, the pressure was on starter Michael Fagan ’14. The veteran lived up to the challenge, allowing two runs on just four hits while fanning 11 Bears. This from a guy who was dogged by control issues for his first three seasons, to the extent that last year I argued that he shouldn’t be in the starting rotation. I take it all back. Fagan’s 3-1 record is the best on the team, and his ERA is a staunch 2.15.  Continue reading

Pedaling to Ireland: Ruggers Train, Tour Over Break

Men’s rugby spent a week training on the wind-swept west coast of Ireland. (Courtesy Chris Shin ’17)

Men’s rugby spent a week training on the wind-swept west coast of Ireland. (Courtesy Chris Shin ’17)

On night in mid-November when temperatures dipped below freezing, Nick Martin ’15 sat pedaling on a stationary bike outside of Frist Campus Center. He was one of 40 Princeton men’s rugby players and alumni to participate in the team’s “Dash to Dublin” — a round-the-clock, eight-day bike-a-thon to raise money for the spring break training trip that the team just returned from.

The tour, which has been part of Princeton rugby tradition since the mid 1970s, is critical for the team. The Tigers have traveled to England, Argentina, the Cayman Islands, and all over the world to see how their team stacks up against international standards in places where rugby is the most popular sport.

This year the team traveled to Ireland, where not only is the competition tougher, but the weather is too. The squad spent the majority of its time training on the west coast near notoriously windy Galway.

“The field was soaked in water. It was one of the windiest places I’ve ever been,” Martin said. “You’d be standing around the huddle and get blown over. You couldn’t even pass the ball. It’s definitely not like Princeton.” Continue reading

Women’s Water Polo Continues Success in California

Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

For most teams, a trip to California would be a trip across the country to train, compete, and bond with teammates, but for many on the women’s water polo team, it is also a trip home.  With a schedule that affords them only six home games at DeNunzio Pool all season, the trip provides an additional opportunity for friends and family of 11 of the 15 women to see them play.

“We are luckily to get to stay with teammates’ families while we are in California,” junior Kelly Gross said of the visit home.  “It’s really nice to be in a home instead of a hotel for the whole week and get some home-cooked meals, too. My mom even brought our new puppy to our tournament, which was definitely a highlight!”

The two-time reigning CWPA champion Tigers continued what has been a strong start to their season as they headed to the West Coast on an eight game trip that left them with a 21-1 mark and a six-game winning streak.  The Tigers started off the week with a triple-overtime 14-13 win over No. 13 UC San Diego, but lost 10-6 the next day to No. 14 San Jose State, giving them their first loss of the season.  However, they would win the remaining six games of the trip, including a decisive 9-3 victory over No. 8 Loyola Marymount during the second weekend. Continue reading

Women’s Basketball Falls to Penn in Ivy Title Game

Annie Tarakchian ’16 scored 12 points off the bench against Penn. (Beverly Schaefer)

Annie Tarakchian ’16 scored 12 points off the bench against Penn. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton women’s basketball’s remarkable run as the Ivy League champion came to an end Tuesday night when the Tigers lost to Penn, 80-64, at Jadwin Gym, falling one game shy in their bid for a fifth-straight title. Both teams entered the game with 11-2 Ivy records, guaranteeing that the winner would be the league champion.

Defensively, Princeton had few answers for Alyssa Baron, the Quakers’ versatile guard, who led all scorers with 23 points, or 6-foot-3-inch freshman center Sydney Stipanovich, who finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds. Both played all 40 minutes. But the game hinged on Princeton’s offense, which managed just 64 points after averaging 75 in its first 27 games. Continue reading

Women’s Basketball Rolls in Final Weekend, Setting Up De Facto Championship Game vs. Penn

Alex Wheatley ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Alex Wheatley ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Nicole Hung ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Nicole Hung ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

After taking care of business with two blowout wins this weekend, the women’s basketball team has set the stage for a high-stakes showdown Tuesday night against Penn.

“You always want to have a chance to play for an Ivy League title,” head coach Courtney Banghart said. “And to be able to do that after what this young team has had to go through and all the growing we’ve had to do in a short period of time, it’s really exciting.”

The Tigers, who had just two Ivy League losses over the last four seasons, find themselves in a much tighter title race than they are used to. A loss to Harvard in Jadwin Gymnasium near the start of Ivy play and a March 1 loss to Brown have put them in a tie for first place with the Quakers. Each team has an 11-2 record in the Ancient Eight. Continue reading

Princeton Men’s Volleyball Upsets Penn State

The last time the men’s volleyball team beat Penn State, Cody Kessel was six years old. On Friday night, the junior outside hitter contributed 14 of Princeton’s 55 kills and helped secure the Tigers’ first win over the Nittany Lions since 1998.

Cody Kessel '15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

Cody Kessel ’15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

After Princeton dropped the first set of the match 18-25, everything indicated that things would go in the same direction as they always have for Penn State. The No. 10 Nittany Lions have won every EIVA championship since Princeton’s lone title 15 years ago. Heading into Friday night’s match, Penn State had dropped just one conference loss in the last five years and entered on a nation-best 12-match winning streak.

Penn State’s circumstances quickly changed when Princeton clawed its way to a 22-25 second set victory. The Tigers ran away with the third set as well after jumping out to a formidable 8-1 lead off the serving of senior Pat Schwagler and freshman Chris Kennedy.

“We knew we had to be aggressive with our serving game to get Penn State out of system,” Kessel said. “We were able to do that this time better than we have in the past. Even though I think they hit better than us percentage wise, we were able to win the serve battle.” Continue reading

Princeton Men’s Basketball Falls to Harvard Despite Freshmen’s Best Efforts

T.J. Bray '14 led Princeton with 17 points in his final game against Harvard. The Tigers' freshmen combined to score 25 points in the 59-47 loss. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

T.J. Bray ’14 led Princeton with 17 points in his final game against Harvard. The Tigers’ freshmen combined to score 25 points in the 59-47 loss. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

While individually none of them led the scoring for Princeton, collectively the men’s basketball freshmen accounted for more than half of the offensive production in the Tigers’ 59-47 loss to Harvard on Saturday night, a positive sign in an otherwise disappointing Ivy League season. Princeton, which was 12-2 in nonconference play, dropped to 3-6 in Ivy games.

The Harvard loss was a classic tale of two halves, as the Tigers won the first half but ultimately could not compete following halftime and fell to the Crimson in their home gym for the first time since 1989.

Senior guard T.J. Bray is had another big game offensively (17 points), which has become the norm — he has scored in double figures 17 times in 19 games played. But the freshmen also played key roles in the most anticipated match up on Princeton’s schedule.

The home Harvard game has consistently attracted more fans than any other for the past several years, and Saturday night was no different. “They’re always great for this game,” Bray said. “They really get up for it.”

Despite Princeton’s 3-5 Ivy record coming into the game, tip off saw a packed student section and the Tigers gave the fans a much closer than anticipated competition, coming out stronger than they have in previous games and opening up a 12-point lead midway through the first half. After closing out the half with a buzzer beater from freshman forward Spencer Weisz, the Tigers went into the locker room with a 29-24 lead.

But in contrast to the first half, they came out slow in the second half and watched the lead they had built up slowly start to slip away. After Hans Brase ’16 missed a dunk attempt with 8 minutes left that would have reclaimed the lead for the Tigers, Harvard opened up a 44-40 lead, made a defensive stop and another field goal, squelching the Tigers’ momentum. Continue reading

Men’s Lacrosse Preview: Princeton To Rely on Strong Midfield, Young Defense

By David Marcus ’92

The Princeton men’s lacrosse team returns the best midfielder in the country and features one of the nation’s best offenses, but it will be the Tigers’ performance on defense that will determine the team’s fate this season, which begins on Saturday with a home opener against Hofstra. If Princeton gets consistent goalie play and its young starting defense gels under new coordinator John Walker, the Tigers could compete for an NCAA title.

shreiber-thumb-180x270-15377

Tom Schreiber ’14 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

Head coach Chris Bates called the choice of a starting goalie “the biggest question that remains.” He went with Matt O’Connor ’16 for most of 2013 but switched to Eric Sanschagrin ’15 for the last four games of the season, which ended with a 12-8 loss to Yale in the finals of the Ivy League tournament. Those two and Brian Kavanagh ’14 will compete to start in the net. Bates prefers to play one goalie rather than rotate two or three, but with three in the running, he said, “We may not have closure at the start of the season.”

Princeton had to jury-rig a starting defense last year because of injuries, but the Tigers are fairly deep on that end of the field in 2014. Mark Strabo ’16 returns as a starter, while his two linemates from last year will move back to their old posisions. Derick Raabe ’14 will be a long-stick defensive midfielder, and Nick Fernandez ’14 will play short-stick defensive midfield along with Mark Strabo’s brother Jack ’14 and Hunter deButts ’14.

Will Reynolds ’17 will also start at close defense; he was one of the top recruits in the country, and Bates calls him “very college-ready.” The third starter will either be Alex Beatty ’15 or Bear Goldstein ’17. They’ll answer to John Walker, whom Bates hired after his longtime defensive assistant Greg Raymond took the head job at Hobart College last summer. Walker was an All-American attackman at the U.S. Military Academy, then spent three years coaching Army’s prep school team and four years as a defensive assistant at the University of Virginia before joining Princeton’s staff. In Walker’s style of defense, Princeton may be less apt to slide to the ball — to double-team, in basketball terms. He gives his players a little more freedom to play one-on-one, Bates says. Continue reading

Women’s Basketball Sweeps Brown, Yale, Looks Ahead to Key Matchup at Harvard

Though it has won each of its last five games by 11 or more points, the women’s basketball team finds itself in an unusually precarious position going into next weekend. For the first time in recent memory, the Tigers will face a must-win situation in an Ivy League game when they travel to Cambridge on Feb. 22.

Winners of four straight Ivy titles, the Tigers have lost just three league games since the 2009-10 season, all to Harvard. When the Crimson broke their 33-game conference winning streak last season, it was disappointing for Princeton but came late enough in the season that it wasn’t much cause for alarm. The Tigers still had a better record than the Crimson, which came into the game with two losses, and easily did away with their four remaining opponents to win the league.

23472-dietrick-oac-thumb-140x210-23471.jpg
Blake Dietrick ’15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

This year, however, a late-season slip-up against Harvard could be fatal to the Tigers’ postseason hopes. On Jan. 31, the Crimson handed the Tigers their first home league loss since 2009 and did so rather convincingly. (Harvard lost at Penn the following night, the Crimson’s only Ivy loss to date; Penn also has one loss, to the Tigers.) Last year’s Princeton-Harvard game in Cambridge was decided by three points — Harvard won by hitting its free throws down the stretch and the game would have gone to overtime if either forward Kristen Helmstetter ’14 or guard Blake Dietrick ’15 had hit the three-pointers they attempted as the clock ran down. Last month in Jadwin Gymnasium, however, it was very much Harvard’s game, with the Crimson going up by as much as 18 and winning 78-68.

Harvard held Helmstetter and Dietrick, who have emerged as the Tigers’ dynamic duo this year, to seven and eight points, respectively. Meanwhile, Harvard guard Christine Clarke had a monster night with 25 points and five rebounds. Clarke’s 16.7 points per game clip is the best in the league, while Dietrick’s 16 puts her at third.

Both players seem set to have another big night next weekend. Clarke has scored 41 points in her last two games, while Dietrick has looked even better. She set a personal best with 27 points against Brown Friday night, but the record did not last long. The next night, as the Tigers put up their highest points total of the season — 96 — against Yale, Dietrick outdid herself with 28 points. She also contributed six assists and six rebounds, and made 50 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.

Continue reading

Men’s Squash Finishes Ivy Season With Loss at Jadwin

A lot has changed for the men’s squash team over the last year. The Tigers entered this season without two players from the top five spots on the ladder — most notably Todd Harrity ’13, the three-time CSA national finalist and 2011 champion. It would also be the first time in 32 years that Princeton would take the court not under the training of Hall of Famer Bob Callahan ’77, the head coach that led Princeton to the legendary 2012 national championship over Trinity and retired last year. 

The Tigers finished the year with a 5-7 overall, 3-4 Ivy League record after dropping their final match of the regular season 6-3 to Cornell. And although this year’s seniors finished their collegiate squash careers without Callahan or an Ivy League title, they made sure to end them on a personal high note. 

23537-egan_OAC-thumb-160x240-23536.jpg
23539-ward_OAC-thumb-160x240-23538.jpg
Ash Egan ’14, left, and Dylan Ward ’14 (Photos: Office of Athletic Communications)

Seniors Ash Egan and Dylan Ward both earned victories in their final collegiate match on the Jadwin Gymnasium C-floor. Ward, playing at the No. 3 spot, dominated his match in three games and only gave up eight points. It was fitting that the courts where he played his last match at Jadwin were where he won victories in the 2012 national championship and the 2013 Harvard match that led Princeton to that year’s Ivy title. Egan got off to a rockier start, dropping his opening game at No. 8 before winning the next three to earn the victory.

“I was happy to finish my home career on a high note,” Egan said. “It was a hard fought battle against a solid team.”

New head coach Sean Wilkinson — the eighth men’s squash coach in Princeton’s 83-year-old program — hopes to have a more definitively positive ending at the looming CSA team championship after a season of mixed results. The team championships, hosted by Harvard in Boston, are just two weeks away, and Wilkinson will be heavily relying on his seniors as well as his top two players in the flight, All-America juniors Samuel Kang and Tyler Osbourne. Rookie Ben Leizman has also put in some solid matches at the No. 9 position. 

Continue reading

Men’s Swimming Splits H-Y-P Meet, Eyes Ivy Rematch

With Ivy League Championships less than a month away, the Princeton swimming and diving teams began the final stretch of their season, traveling to New Haven for the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton weekend. The men began the weekend on Saturday, placing second in the meet with a 213-140 loss to Harvard and a 194-159 win over Yale. The women took their turn in the rivalry on Sunday, coming in second with a 189-111 loss to Harvard and a 171-129 win over Yale.

23520-maher_hed_OAC-thumb-160x240-23519.jpg
Connor Maher ’15 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

Front and center for the Tiger men’s hopes during the annual classic were juniors Michael Strand and Connor Maher, reigning Ivy League champions in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, respectively. The 100 back proved to be the Tigers’ most successful event, as the Tigers claimed the top three spots. However, Strand finished second in the event with a time of 48.51. He was beaten by teammate and sophomore En-Wei Hu-Van Wright, who won the event with a time of 48.21, giving the Tigers their only first place finish in the 19-event meet; Maher finished third in the sprint event with a time of 48.53. 

“The 100 back has been a very strong event for us in the past and being able to finish 1-2-3 in such an early event was huge momentum swing,” Maher said. “The race strategies are very different [swimming the 100 and the 200]. The 200 you definitely have to strategize more about how hard you are going to go, but the 100 is much more of a dead sprint from the beginning.”

Despite strong swims throughout the meet, the Tigers were unable to capture any additional first place finishes. Maher led off the 200-yard freestyle relay team that ultimately finished in second place with a time of 1.19.86, less than a second off of the winning time from Harvard’s top finisher. He was followed by junior Harrison Wagner, freshman Julian Mackrel, and sophomore Jeremy Wong.

Continue reading

Men’s Basketball Hangs With Harvard, Falls 82-76

By Kevin Whitaker ’13

Cambridge, Mass. — Way back in October, before the men’s basketball season had even started, one game at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion was already sold out: Harvard vs. Princeton. At the time, the Tigers were not expected to be the Crimson’s top challenger, but after seven thrilling battles with title implications over the past three years, the two sides had developed a history that heightened every showdown. Friday’s game once again proved that Harvard, the Ancient Eight’s nouveau riche, and the old-money Tigers have the Ivy League’s dominant rivalry right now.

23518-brase_fam_BKS-thumb-140x210-23176.jpg
Hans Brase ’16, shown in an early nonconference game against Florida A&M. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Even before the opening tip, Harvard’s gym was the loudest it had been all season, as its student section was overflowing with support for the Crimson and jeers for the Tigers. In recent years, the Harvard-Princeton rivalry has bloomed because of its two-sided nature — and the fact that the home fans usually have reason to cheer. Princeton has famously won 24 straight meetings at Jadwin Gym, but after holding off the Tigers 82-76 on Friday night, the Crimson now has its own four-game win streak over Princeton at Lavietes Pavilion.

“Princeton-Harvard atmospheres are different than any other atmosphere in the Ivy League,” guard T.J. Bray ’14 said. “It’s been great coming up here for four years. We would’ve liked to get a win, but it’s always been sold out, it’s always been a great atmosphere up here, and we do the same at our place.”

This year’s game showed uncanny parallels to a Princeton-Harvard meeting late in the 2011 season, the first big-time matchup at Lavietes Pavilion. In that game, Dan Mavraides ’11 scored 18 first-half points in a shootout that the Crimson led 37-36 at halftime; on Friday, Hans Brase ’16 had 17 points as Harvard led 36-35 at the break.

Continue reading

Princeton Men’s, Women’s Basketball to Open at Penn

Through 13 games this season, Princeton men’s basketball has shown a propensity for outside shooting, averaging more than 10 made three-pointers per game and firing from behind the arc at a school-record pace. Will Barrett ’14, the most prolific shooter for the 11-2 Tigers, said that the focus on three-pointers feels like a natural part of the offense.

23470-barrett-oac-thumb-140x186-23469.jpg
Will Barrett ’14 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

“It’s so organic,” Barrett said. “It’s just the that way our team is: Everyone is trying to hunt for threes, and when people drive, we know how to shift and get the open shots.”

The Tigers, who open Ivy League play at Penn Jan. 11, seem to look for three-pointers, layups, and very little in between — and so far, that formula has worked well. Four players are averaging double-figures in scoring, and two more are close behind. T.J. Bray ’14, who missed four games with a hand injury, has returned in impressive form, averaging 17.2 points per game and dishing out 58 assists while turning the ball over just 13 times.

When looking at where the team can improve, Barrett turned to one of the most often-repeated phrases in sports: Defense wins championships. “I always just thought that was something that older people said to get you to play defense, but it’s actually true,” Barrett said. “The past few games, our defense has been up and down a bit, but we’ve shown in spurts that we can get five or six or seven stops in a row. We’ve got to continue that.”

23472-dietrick-oac-thumb-140x210-23471.jpg
Blake Dietrick ’15 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

The Princeton women, who also open their Ivy schedule at Penn Jan. 11, are eyeing defensive improvement as well. The Tigers (9-5) have won six of their last seven games, and leading scorer Blake Dietrick ’15 said that three wins in that stretch stand out: a 73-57 victory at Navy Dec. 6, which showed that Princeton could “defend as a unit”; and wins over Delaware and Drexel, which proved that the team could stay sharp in close games.

Dietrick has played a significant role in nearly every game, emerging as one of the nation’s leading three-point shooters by draining 44.6 percent of her attempts. She also helps to set the pace of the offense — a new responsibility that came with her new role as a full time starter.

Penn (8-2) is riding high after an upset win at Miami Jan. 1, so whichever team comes out on top Saturday will take an important early edge in the Ivy title chase.

Wrestling Returns to Jadwin, Drops Match to Rutgers

Neither the snowstorm nor the onset of winter break prevented a large crowd from trekking to Jadwin Gymnasium Saturday night to see the Princeton wrestling team host Rutgers in what was billed as “a celebration of New Jersey wrestling.” The Tigers fell to the Scarlet Knights, but there were still signs throughout the night that head coach Chris Ayers has his team – which, at 3-1, already has more wins than it did last season – on the right track.

23357-krop_OAC-thumb-160x240-23356.jpg
Adam Krop ’15 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

After a slow start for the Tigers in which Jordan Laster ’17 lost despite escaping a number of tight situations, Adam Krop ’15 brought the crowd to its feet, pinning his opponent in an overpowering display at 141 lbs. and tying the team score. Ayers praised Krop for getting the win after the Tigers lost the match before his at 133 lbs.

“We really thought we were gonna take 133. I think Krop thought that too,” Ayers said. “So for him to come out and ignite things a little bit was what we needed at the time. So he really did his job.”

Krop’s win was especially heartening to Tiger fans given that he had been absent from the mat until quite recently. The knee injury that kept him out for the entire 2012-13 season was just one of several medical issues which have plagued Princeton in the last few years.

In the wake of those injuries, inexperienced wrestlers have been shouldering much of the burden. One example, Abe Ayala ’16, has been proving himself capable all season and did so again Saturday. Wrestling at 165 lbs., Ayala kept his match close with two well-executed escapes and took down his man in the third period to earn a 6-4 win. Though it was too little, too late for Princeton, it gave the crowd much to cheer about.

“Abe’s wrestling well. He’s focused on wrestling and nothing else,” Ayers said. “You can see him out there – he’s made a jump to where he’s not concerned about other things, he’s just trying to score points. That’s it. He’s not thinking about his shape, he’s not thinking that he’s tired, he just keeps wrestling.”

Continue reading

Rookie Takes Over Top Spot in Women’s Squash

Julie Cerullo ’13 was a staple in the women’s squash lineup, playing almost every match of her Princeton career at the No. 1 position and earning All-America honors four years in row. When Cerullo graduated in June, she left a huge hole for the No. 1 incoming freshman in the country to fill.

23317-ubina_OAC-thumb-160x240-23316.jpg
Maria Elena Ubina ’17 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

Rookie Maria Elena Ubina started her first collegiate squash season as the top-ranked player at the under-19 level and boasts an impressive resume. A four-time member of the U.S. World Junior team, Ubina won the 2011 U.S. Junior Open Squash Championship in the under-19 category when she was just 16 years old.

Ubina, however, says that playing on the collegiate level is different than competing on the junior circuit.

“Playing for [head coach] Gail [Ramsay] and playing with the team was a different experience because college squash is so different from junior squash,” Ubina said. “Junior squash is very different because you’re playing for yourself. This is more team-oriented. Even playing for your country, it’s a little more individual. The kids are younger and they’re a little more self-centered, but here everyone is rooting for the University instead of for themselves.”

Ubina has had an interesting start to her season thus far. After easily sweeping her opponents in the season’s first two matches, she was forced to sit out Princeton’s match against Drexel due to an ankle injury. She returned to the court on Saturday at “pretty much” 100 percent to take on George Washington’s Gaby Parras in a high-scoring match that went to five games.

It was an important test for Ubina, who will face off against reigning national champion Amanda Sobhy when Princeton plays Harvard after its return from winter break in January. The match will prove to be an interesting parallel between Ubina and Cerullo, given Princeton’s recent rivalry with the Crimson on the court.

Continue reading

All-American Curham ’17 Leads Princeton at NCAA Cross Country Championships

By Dave Hunter ’72

23286-curham_OAC-thumb-160x240-23285.jpg
Megan Curham ’17 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

The Princeton men’s and women’s cross country teams took on the nation’s top collegiate squads in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 23. Several days of steady rain, a hard freeze on race day eve, and an ever-present bitter northern wind transformed the Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course into a shoe-sucking sea of pudding-like mud — the kind of tough conditions that make old-school cross country purists smile.

The Princeton men — runners-up in last week’s NCAA Mid–Atlantic Regional meet — rang up 469 points on the 10,000 meter course to finish 22nd in the 31 team field. Seniors Tyler Udland (47th in 30:53.55) and Alejandro Arroyo Yamin (73rd in 31:03.5) were the top Tiger performers.  Juniors Sam Pons (113th in 31:24.6), Matt McDonald (135th in 31:37.5) and Connor Martin (208th in 32:26.1) rounded out the scoring for Princeton.

In the women’s race, freshman Megan Curham concluded a sparkling fall season, covering the 6,000 meter course in 20:42.3. Curham’s 34th place finish earned her All-American recognition — one of only three freshmen nationwide to capture that honor.  The women’s team — which gained a coveted at-large invitation to Terre Haute at last week’s regional meet — had a tough afternoon scoring 703 points to finish 30th in the 31 team field.  Scoring behind Curham were sophomore Kathryn Fluehr (186th in 21.56.0), junior Emily De La Bruyere (209th in 22:09.8), freshman Elizabeth Bird (214th in 22:13.6) and sophomore Kathryn Little (222nd in 22:18.3).  The Tigers — with 6 of the top 7 returning next year — should benefit greatly from Saturday’s national championship experience.

Princeton and Dartmouth were the only Ivy League schools to qualify full men’s and women’s teams for Saturday’s NCAA national championship races.

Football Falls Short of Perfect Ivy Season, but Seniors Celebrate Championship Turnaround

i-bb62e6bfe743f7d0bc7bdd7d1bd74c00-fb_2014.jpg
Princeton football’s Class of 2014, seen here before the Yale game, went from 1-9 seasons in its first two years to an Ivy League title as seniors. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)
Refusing to let a season-ending loss at Dartmouth keep them down, seniors from the Ivy League co-champion Princeton football team reflected on a remarkable season in advance of Sunday’s Big Three bonfire. The Ivy title, shared with Harvard, is the Tigers’ first since 2006, when they shared the honor with Yale.
 
“No matter how hard it looks you can always work yourself out of it,” senior defensive back Elijah Mitchell said. “And if you work hard enough you can accomplish the goals you set from the very beginning even if it doesn’t look like you’ll get there at first.”
 
“It’s been a long time coming to a lot of us simply because it would be hard to find a team and a group of guys that have worked harder than we have,” senior running back Brian Mills added.
 
The season has seen an accumulation of records for Princeton football, most of them by quarterback Quinn Epperly ’15. Despite doubts at the beginning of the season over who would start under center, the junior quickly showed that he knew how to score. Epperly matched Doug Butler ’86’s record for single-season passing touchdowns (set in 1983) with 25. Almost half of those touchdowns were to senior receiver Roman Wilson, who caught 11 touchdowns passes this season, matching the record of Derek Graham ’85, also set in 1983.
 
“[The records] are just kind of an added extra. Our main goal is to win, every drive we want to score, so that’s the first goal,” Wilson said. “But those are great. I think they reflect us as a team, where we’ve come and a reflection of the coaches as well.”
 
Epperly also came within one score of Keith Elias ’94’ single-season rushing touchdown record of 19 (set in 1993) with his 18th rushing touchdown of the season coming in the season finale at Dartmouth — a 28-24 loss that ended the Tigers’ eight-game winning streak. His success has not gone unnoticed: Epperly earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors six times.
 
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a stronger candidate than Quinn,” head coach Bob Surace ’90 said, in reference to Epperly’s chances of taking home the Ivy League’s honor for Offensive Player of the Year, the Bushnell Cup.
 

Continue reading

Talent, Creativity Propel Football to Ivy Title

Tailback Dre Nelson ’16 scored the first of Princeton football’s eight touchdowns against Yale Saturday. The Tigers lined up in what has now become something of a signature formation with three quarterbacks — Quinn Epperly ’15, Connor Michelsen ’15, and Kedric Bostic ’16 — in the backfield. Though each was a threat to run or throw the ball, head coach Bob Surace ’90 and offensive coordinator James Perry were not satisfied with that level of complexity and instead had the ball snapped straight to Nelson. He ran to the outside and went the distance thanks to a block from third-string quarterback Bostic.

23213-nelson_yale_BKS-thumb-300x300-23212.jpg

Dre Nelson ’16 weaves through the defense on the first of his two touchdowns against Yale. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Nelson added 35 more yards and another score as the game went on. He was one of four Tigers to run for over 30 yards. That stat, and his run, demonstrate the creativity and resourcefulness that have made the difference between the 1-9 Tigers of two years ago and this year’s Tigers, currently 8-1 and guaranteed at least a share of the Ivy League title.

It’s easy to look at the Tigers and see only Epperly, who is having one of the best seasons of any college quarterback and has set innumerable records. Against Yale, however, Epperly accounted for a relatively low percentage of Princeton’s points — he was responsible for only half the touchdowns. His accuracy was good, but not perfect, giving his receivers ample opportunity to show off their skills. Roman Wilson ’14 had 115 yards and a touchdown, making several catches on the sideline with his feet just barely in bounds. Connor Kelley ’15 showed off his athleticism on a touchdown grab when he had to elevate and out-maneuver a Yale defender. The defender was flagged for interference, but Kelley still made the catch.

Plays like that have lifted the Tigers to heights that didn’t seem possible just two years ago. All the players mentioned above were recruited when the Tigers were at the bottom of the Ivy League standings, yet Surace and Perry managed to attract them and have figured out some very original ways to use them.

Continue reading

Princeton-Yale Weekend Events on Campus

i-258508539ccc1c539599d87de0c2cdc9-kickline_2013.jpg

Lovely Leias: Members of the Princeton Triangle Club kickline prepare for their space-themed show, Zero Gravitas. (Photo: Courtesy Princeton Triangle Club)

Princeton’s Big Three football home game against either Yale or Harvard serves as the University’s unofficial homecoming each year, and the Saturday-afternoon action at Princeton Stadium is just one part of the experience for returning alumni and current students. The weekend calendar is filled with concerts and performances by the Princeton Triangle Club, the Princeton University Glee Club, a cappella ensembles, theater groups, and more.

 
Below, browse a list of events and exhibitions scheduled for this year’s Princeton-Yale weekend.
 

Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: The Streak Is Broken

23163-holly82_cover-thumb-300x400-23162.jpg
(PAW Archives: Dec. 1, 1981)

In the annals of Princeton football, the 1981 Tigers may not be the most accomplished team (they finished 5-4-1, good for third place in the Ivy League), but they left a lasting mark with one memorable victory on Nov. 14.

Princeton had endured a 14-year losing streak against Yale, and for the most part, the games hadn’t been particularly close. The 1981 Bulldogs, led by running back Rich Diana, were a perfect 8-0, including a nationally televised win over Navy. They seemed primed to steamroll the Tigers at Palmer Stadium — and an early 21-0 lead supported that idea. But Princeton’s prolific passing attack, led by Bob Holly ’82, helped the home team mount a remarkable comeback.

PAW’s Mark F. Bernstein ’83 recapped the action in a story published 25 years after the game:

When Yale jumped to a 21–0 second-quarter lead on a chilly, gray afternoon, Princeton was forced to throw on almost every down. But the Tigers began to chip away at Yale’s lead, trailing only 21–15 at halftime and taking a slim lead early in the second half. Down 31–29 with just over a minute and a half to play, Holly led Princeton on a 76-yard drive, passing 18 times in 20 plays, including a fourth-and-10 completion to tight end Scott Oostdyk ’82, his old high school teammate. An end-zone pass to Derek Graham ’85, who set a Princeton single-game record with 278 receiving yards, was incomplete, but Yale was called for interference, giving Princeton a first down at the one-yard line with nine seconds left.

Continue reading

Sherburne ’14 Leads Men’s Basketball to Opening Win

“It feel’s good to be back. It’s been a while,” Jimmy Sherburne said with a smile. 

After taking a one-year hiatus due to injury, the senior guard from Wisconsin is back with a bang. In the men’s basketball season opener at home against Florida A&M in Jadwin Gymnasium on Sunday, Sherburne finished second on the team in points with 13, sinking three of five 3-pointers and pushing the Tigers to a 67-50 victory over the Rattlers.

i-abcf8cebe2658ab9c4d7d207ee9f4ee4-brase_fam_BKS.jpg
Hans Brase ’16 attempts a shot in Princeton’s opening win over Florida A&M. Brase scored six points and led the Tigers with 10 rebounds. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Sherburne’s not the only player who has returned to the team after a long break. Junior guard Ben Hazel and junior forward Dan Edwards are also back on this season’s roster after taking last year off, and the trio’s return couldn’t be more critical. Sunday’s game was the first test for a Tiger team playing without last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, Ian Hummer ’13.

Hummer’s absence will have a huge impact on this year’s Princeton squad. He led his team last year scoring, assists, blocks, rebounds and offensive rebounds, leaving a large hole to fill by both returning players and new faces, and the Tigers’ freshmen class did not disappoint Sunday. Forwards Pete Miller and Spencer Weisz looked comfortable on the court throughout the game, culminating in dunk from Miller towards the end of the game on a pass from his fellow rookie.

“We got a lot of new pieces this year, a couple of freshmen in the lineup, with Pete and Spencer. Early in the year, especially, it’s important to play the right way and get a new flow,” said junior forward Denton Koon, who had added a team-high 17 points.

Continue reading

Cross Country Heps: Princeton Men Finish Second, Women Place Fourth

As the men’s cross country team set out to defend its Ivy League title at Saturday’s Ivy Heptagonal Cross Country Championships, the women set out to return to the top. It was an unseasonably warm day at Princeton’s West Windsor Fields, which seemed to suit freshman Megan Curham, the Tigers’ top finisher for the day.

23155-xc_heps_bks-thumb-300x300-23154.jpg
Megan Curham ’17 placed fourth in the Ivy Heps Championships, helping the Princeton women earn a fourth-place finish as a team. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Curham placed fourth for the women with a time of 20:26.1 to earn first-team All-Ivy League honors and lead the women’s team to a fourth-place finish overall. This marks the best individual finish by a Tiger since Alex Banfich ’12 placed third in 2011. Curham, a freshman from Warren, N.J., came onto the cross country scene late in high school, but has made the most of her short career. She won the 2-mile run at New Balance Indoor Track Nationals during her senior year, and since coming to Princeton, Curham has led the Tiger women, finishing first on the team in all four races in which she has competed.

“To see how [Megan] has developed here has been amazing,” senior Molly Higgins said. “She’s an incredibly hard worker and … it’s just been unbelievable to train with her and also to watch her race.”

Also scoring for the women were junior captain Emily de La Bruyere, who finished 10th and earned second-team All-Ivy League honors, as well as sophomore Kathryn Fluehr (18th), junior Lindsay Eysenbach (26th), and sophomore Kathryn Little (37th).

Dartmouth won for the women with 38 total points, while Cornell placed second with 66 points, Harvard came in third with 73 and Princeton placed fourth with 95 points.

The No. 15 Tiger men, hoping to defend their title for the fourth consecutive year, fell short in a tight race against No. 10 Columbia. Seniors Tyler Udland and Chris Bendtsen finished sixth and seventh respectively with times of 23:48.6 and 23:49.7, both earning first-team All-Ivy League honors. Senior Alejandro Arroyo Yamin finished 12th, earning second-team All-Ivy League honors. Juniors Sam Pons and  Matt McDonald (16th and 17th, respectively) rounded out the scoring, and junior Eddie Owens was close behind in 19th place. 

“We ran even with them through most of the race, through about 6k, but then they started to separate a little,” Udland said of the competition with Columbia. “We tried to move up around the last 700-800 meters, but it was just a little too much to overcome and close the gap.”

Continue reading

Epperly-to-Wilson Puts Princeton Over the Top, Again

After a storybook comeback in last year’s Harvard game, the Princeton football team seemed to have used up all its luck. As the Tigers dropped three of their next four games, Quinn Epperly ’15’s lob to the end zone, which was caught by Roman Wilson ’14 for the winning touchdown, looked more and more like a fluke. But one year later, on Oct. 26, the Tigers went to Cambridge and proved that they didn’t need luck to take down Harvard — they had the talent.

23128-epperly_vsCol_BKS-thumb-300x200-23127.jpg
Quinn Epperly ’15, show in action against Columbia, continued his remarkable season with a record-setting win at Harvard Oct. 26. To date, he has thrown for 15 touchdowns and run for 11. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

This year’s game ended in an almost identical fashion to last year’s. Needing to score, Epperly chucked it into the corner of the end zone and Wilson, with a Crimson player right on him, came down with it. Last year’s score put the Tigers up late in the final quarter of a game that ended 39-34. This year’s touchdown ended the third overtime period in a game that saw Princeton put up 51 points to edge Harvard’s 48.

What was striking about Saturday’s game was how different Princeton’s offense looked this time around. With quarterback Connor Michelsen ’15 sidelined by an injury, it was the first time in Epperly’s college career that he took every snap. Last season, he split time with Michelsen against Harvard, and each had his moments. As the tape of the final touchdown shows, however, Epperly’s pass could just as easily have been one of the worst moments of his season. He was under pressure and threw off the wrong foot, leaving it up to Wilson to get around the defender and make an outstanding catch.

This season, the game-winning touchdown exemplified how far Epperly, and Princeton’s offense, has come. Filled with confidence during his best passing game ever — he broke one school record with 37 completions in the game and another with six passing touchdowns — Epperly faked a quarterback dive, selling it completely, and delivered a perfect throw to his favorite target, Wilson.

Continue reading

With Final Four Team Watching, Men’s Soccer Stays Unbeaten in Ivy Play

When the Princeton men’s soccer team took the field at Roberts Stadium on Saturday, trying to stay undefeated in the Ivy League against Columbia, no one was rooting for the Tigers more than a group of men in the stands who had found themselves in the same position 20 years ago.

The 1993 squad returned to campus, as the program honored the NCAA Final Four team at halftime. That year, when the Tigers reached the semifinals of the national tournament for the first time in history, the only blemish on their Ivy record was a 3-1 defeat to Columbia. The loss meant that Princeton would share the Ivy championship with the Lions.

23105-mcsherry_oac-thumb-140x186-23104.jpg
Brendan McSherry ’16 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

Two decades later, Columbia and Princeton both entered the match as undefeated Ivy teams, but history did not repeat itself. Sophomore midfielder Brendan McSherry scored his first career goal in the 87th minute, giving the Tigers a 2-1 victory and knocking the Lions out of the top of the Ivy standings.

At an alumni banquet after the game, assistant coach Jesse Marsch ’96 read a letter written by Bob Bradley ’80, the coach of the ’93 squad. Bradley, who was not able to attend because of his obligations as the head coach of the Egyptian national team, said that the Final Four team had a huge role in starting his career at a professional level, and that he always loves reading about the program because Princeton was such a special time for him.

Bradley also stressed how special the history of Princeton’s soccer program is. The Tigers played their first game in November 1906, and their first game against the Lions was a year later. With Saturday’s victory, Princeton’s record against Columbia in over a hundred years of athletic competition now stands at 21-31-9.

Junior defender Myles McGinley said that the alumni offered important advice and emphasized the importance of sportsmanship and playing not as individuals, but as part of a larger unit.

“They talked a lot about taking the ego out of it and putting the team first,” McGinley said.

Continue reading

Epperly ’15, Michelsen ’15 Lead Football to 3-1 Start

It has been seven years since Princeton football fans have seen their team win at least three of the first four games of the season, and when the Tigers began the season 4-0 in 2006, it turned out to be an exciting year that included a bonfire and an Ivy League championship. 

23070-epperly_BKS-thumb-300x200-23069.jpg
Quinn Epperly ’15 (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Saturday’s 42-26 win over Lafayette gave the Tigers a three-game winning streak as they begin the hardest part of their schedule. Princeton’s impressive offensive attack has been led by its quarterbacks, specifically Quinn Epperly ’15.

Sharing time at the quarterback position last season with Connor Michelsen ’15, Epperly’s most well-known pass came with 13 seconds left to play in the 2012 Harvard game to receiver Roman Wilson ’14 — a touchdown that capped Princeton’s comeback win. This season has been an extension of that success. In the Georgetown game, Epperly became the Tiger to rush for four touchdowns in a game since Keith Elias ’94. Against Columbia, he became the first Tiger to throw for four touchdowns in a game since Chad Roghair ’91. And in the win over Lafayette, he was responsible for five more touchdowns (four passing, one rushing).

“Quinn did some really good things,” head coach Bob Surace ’90 said afterward. “I thought he really executed well.”

Epperly and Wilson connected six times for two of Epperly’s passing touchdowns. He also threw scoring passes to receiver Connor Kelley ’15 and tight end Des Smith ’14.

“I think the way our offense is designed a lot of guys are contributing, we’re working extremely hard all practice or all week long in practice, and that’s just how it works. One guy one week will have a breakout game … and anybody can have that type of game at anytime,” Kelley said. “That’s what makes our offense really great.”

Michelsen also has contributed significantly to the offense, leading the team in passing yards this season and driving the Tigers down the field on six of their seven scoring drives against Lafayette. Epperly, a dual running and passing threat, often comes into the game when Princeton reaches the red zone.

“I think that definitely a lot more credit should be given to [Michelsen] than probably is,” Epperly said. “A lot of those drives that I’m scoring on he’s leading down the field and I’m just kind of running it in at the end, so he definitely probably deserves more credit than he’s been given.”

Continue reading

Tires, Weights, and a Common Goal: Wrestling, Men’s Hockey Teams Face Off in Preseason Competition

All was quiet behind Princeton Stadium just after 9 a.m. on Saturday morning until a pack of muscular, orange-and-black-clad men hurtled around the corner towards DeNunzio Pool like it was the running of the bulls. Those students, from the men’s hockey and wrestling teams (clad in orange and black, respectively), were taking part in their third annual strength-and-conditioning competition, held each fall.

23047-mhoc-wres-2-thumb-300x137-23046.jpg
23049-mhoc-wres-1-thumb-300x300-23048.jpg
Members of the wrestling team, top, and men’s hockey team, bottom, competed in conditioning races Saturday morning. The event has become an annual tradition for the programs. (Photos: Jackson Dobies ’14)

The event was sparked by a conversation about preseason workouts, between wrestling coach Chris Ayers and hockey coach Bob Prier. They organized a group workout with an element of friendly competition. Each year, the teams’ coaches come up with exercises designed to test the strength of both groups without giving one too much of an advantage.

“Last year the final event was soccer and obviously hockey’s a team sport so they were a lot better at that,” said Max Rogers ’16 of the wrestling team. “[But] this is our year.”

In addition to the opening footrace, this year’s events included a series of relay races. One involved flipping an enormous tire around a cone and back five times, with a different player pushing it each time. In the second, each player had to push a weight-laden sled around a cone and back. The final challenge was a speed-walking relay race, which may sound relatively easy but was not — each walker carried two giant weights.

“We just want to do stuff that requires teamwork and the guys to get after each other, and also that they get pretty tired doing it,” Ayers said.

Continue reading

At Home on the Road, Men’s Water Polo Moves to 10-3

For most of the players on the men’s water polo team, flying to Southern California for a three-day seven-game weekend wasn’t a road trip — it was going home. Thirteen of the 20 players on the roster hail from the Golden State, and many of their opponents this weekend were old childhood friends.

23001-buchbinder13-thumb-160x240-23000.jpg

Kurt Buchbinder ’14 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

“Water polo is a pretty small community to start out with, and you’re going home and seeing guys that you played in high school or club. You get to catch up and say hello,” said co-captain and Long Beach native Kurt Buchbinder ’14. “It’s fun just to see where they’re at and how they’re doing. Sometimes you mess with them in the water a little bit more than you would normally, but it’s all in good fun.” 

But that’s where the familiarity for the Tigers ends. Though Princeton is the top-ranked program outside of California, Golden State teams dominate the sport. A California school has won every NCAA Championship title, a streak that spans the last 44 years.

Princeton split its first day of play on Friday, beating Chapman 13-9 and extending its win streak to seven games this season, before falling to its first ranked opponent of the weekend, No. 7 Long Beach State, 11-7.  On Saturday, a 13-5 victory over La Verne was sandwiched between lopsided losses to No. 2 Southern California (22-4) and No. 1 UCLA (15-3).  

23003-hoffenberg13-thumb-160x240-23002.jpg

Drew Hoffenberg ’15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

“We knew that coming out here and playing [Southern California] and UCLA would be hard — they’re ranked one and two in the nation But it’s good to play at a little higher level of competition because playing against better people makes you better next time,” co-captain Drew Hoffenberg ’15 said. “You can see what they’re good at and learn from what they do.”

Princeton swept its final day of play on Sunday, beating Claremont McKenna, 13-9, and Whittier, 8-6. Hoffenberg finished with day with 10 goals — five in each game.

Buchbinder said that the biggest adjustment that Princeton had to make as an East Coast water polo team was to “focus a lot more on the very little things.”

“Whether it’s pressuring the ball or shot blocking, or staying in position, it’s unreal how good they are at the little things and that adds up and really helps them out in the long run,” Buchbinder said. “So we have to focus on protecting the ball and getting to our spots.”

Continue reading